Ares napped on his Olympus throne, completely oblivious to the council meeting taking place around him. Athena sighed in irritation, wondering why her father didn't just zap the war god with his lightning bolt. She definitely would've. As she had permission to use it, the only thing standing in her way was the fact that her father's speech was way too interesting to detract her attention.
At the beginning of the meeting, Zeus's monotonous speech had driven Apollo and Hermes to boredom, wondering whether they would ever be able to actually speak. The blond-haired duos were anxious to get the meeting over with early, before the thing was set to occur.
Poseidon had taking it upon himself to devise a new game as he waited for his brother to kindly stop talking. He created little droplets of water and flicked them towards the base of Athena's throne, annoying the wisdom goddess even more. When he screwed up his aim and hit her leg instead of her chair, she sent a fierce glare his way, before turning her eyes back on her father, clearly the only one not bothered by the anti-climactic speech. In fact, the grey-eyed goddess appeared to be embracing it.
Zeus droned on and on, unaware that Athena was the only one still listening. Aphrodite lounged on her throne, looking deeply in thought, twirling her auburn hair around her finger.
Dionysus held a bottle of wine up to his lips, finding the alcohol to be more pleasurable than listening to his father's talk. Artemis moved restlessly in her chair, unable to find a comfortable position. She contemplated going off to hunt and skipping the meeting. She was positive no one would notice. Over half the council were already starting to droop their eyelids.
Holding a platter with food and drink, leaning against a wall, a six year old girl stood, her straight, blond hair pulled back to keep her hair out of the nectar on the plate. Her sparkling blue eyes lit with the innocence that would be expected on such a young soul.
She held on the dish carefully, knowing that it was important that she did not spill the nectar that sat upon her plate, or drop ambrosia on the filthy throne room floor. Her eyes flickered to the other side of the room, glancing at the other cupbearer.
The golden haired boy glanced back at her with eyes like chocolate, and she knew from other gods both female and male alike that he would taste just as sweet, but she felt no temptation in shifting her appearance to gain ten years to test this. Men, even as beautiful as Ganymede, did not interest the goddess. The boy smiled at her, causing her to send a wide grin back.
Finally, Apollo spoke up. "Father," Lord Zeus glanced up.
"There is some important information Hermes and I have to tell you." This was about the time that Ares awoke from his slumber.
Hermes stood up, shaking a bit as he did so, in worry that Zeus would smite him with his bolt. The god made it all the way past the Lord of the Sky's throne and started to write on a board they had placed back there. He wrote: η θλίψης της Κρήτης έχει επιστρέψει από τους νεκρούς. Athena read aloud, "The Grief of Crete has returned from the dead."
It wasn't even the worst thing they had to share, but everyone reacted to it. "Impossible." Hephaestus muttered under his breath, and several other members of the Olympian Council gasped.
"I told you we should have killed her from the start." Ares groaned, "Instead, what do you do? Freeze the girl in ice." One look from Athena told him that she agreed, just as she had when the threat occurred. Artemis sent Ares a disapproving look.
"When was she released?"
"We don't know." Apollo answered.
"Not even you? I thought you were the all-knowing god of prophecies."
"I say, kill her." Ares screamed in rage.
"Will you shut up! I thought we all agreed that your vote doesn't count when we are discussing whether to kill someone or let them live." Poseidon yelled back, grabbing for his trident.
"I thought the only reason you agreed to let her live was because Owl Head wanted her killed." Ares retorted.
"Partially, yes. I always take into account Athena's decision when deciding something. I still hate her for taking Athens from me, and then she made my girlfriend hideous." Athena scowled at him as he continued. "But the so called, "Grief of Crete" was only five years old. Why Owl Head wanted her killed is a wonder to me. Besides, I thought it was Athena's duty to protect heroes or something like that."
"It is." Athena replied. "But she is not a hero, and Poseidon, I still hate you for what you and your girlfriend did in my temple. Disgusting! And what in Hades were you planning to call Athens anyway, if they had chosen you?"
"I don't know…"
"Shut up, Owl Head."
"Owl Head? That doesn't even make sense."
"Well, what about Olive Tree?"
"Why Olive Tree?"
"Well, you gave the Athenian people an olive tree as your gift to them, right?"
"Yes, I got that part." She answered, "But since my olive tree beat your seawater fountain, why would you nickname me Olive Tree? Isn't that just making fun of yourself for losing? Therefore, calling me Olive Tree is a compliment, not an insult."
"Demi-Fly?" He asked. "Because your mother was a fly while she was pregnant with you?"
Athena scowled, but turned her attention to the meeting, her mind already thinking of ways to eliminate the threat that is the Grief of Crete. She never let emotions distract her from her objective. Artemis usually found this quality of her half-sister to be quite admirable, but Artemis would not allow the Grief of Crete to die.
"Wait," Someone spoke up. "Someone has to have been blocking the Misery of Crete from Apollo, but who…"
"And there's something even worse." Hermes stated, while the room wondered what could be worse than that. "We have an issue. We have reason to believe that someone is trying to—" He glanced at the nectar on Ganymede's tray. Before he could continue however Demeter and Hera fell from their thrones and passing out. Hestia, cross-legged on the ground in front of the hearth, fell over and followed suit.
"What the Hades?"
"Maybe it was father's horrible speeches." Dionysus mumbled, reading a magazine dedicated just to wine. He took a sip of nectar from his goblet, before passing out himself.
"The nectar's been poisoned!" Screamed someone.
"This is serious. I recognize this. It is a specific potion that only Hecate herself, or one of her attendants, could pull off. For two weeks they will lie there unconscious until an antidote can be delivered. After fourteen days, they will die, god or not." Athena said.
"It was probably the Grief of Crete who did it." Someone mumbled. Artemis and Poseidon glanced at each other, both certain that it couldn't possibly have been her. Neither spoke up not exactly wanting to alert the other Olympians for their own reasons.
Hermes pointed to the hearth. "When that fire goes out we will be out of time."
"So, only Hecate, or someone she taught herself, could pull this off, but she wouldn't consider doing this, would she?" Artemis asked.
"No, she wouldn't. It doesn't sound like something she would do, but someone she trained could very well pull it off if they were skilled enough."
Apollo spoke up. "I think it's best that we let the minor demigods take care of this."
Everyone looked at Apollo, taking in the words too ridiculous to digest. Ares sputtered, "What? Surely Emery, or myself, could do just f—"
"You shut up about Emery, sleazebag." Aphrodite scolded him to everyone's shock. "I'm tired of hearing you talk about her day in and day out. You're supposed to be mine, not that woman's."
"Now you know how I felt when you—" Hephaestus started to say, but was cut off by a glare from Aphrodite.
"Ares, go to Enyo and ask for minor demi-gods. Hephaestus, go with him." The two immediately started to object, Artemis laughed, finding it hilarious.
Athena looked at her father incredulously. "Are you sure that was a smart idea?"
"Hermes, go with them."
Meanwhile, in Albania, twenty-two demi-gods sat on bleachers watching a duel between a daughter of Ares and a son of Apollo. Seventeen-year-old Emery Yoshimura, daughter of Ares, clung onto her scimitar sword as she smirked at her defeated opponent. The challenger glared at her.
"I'm the daughter of Ares. I always win at this game." Emery pointed out, noticing his disappointment.
"Whatever. At least I can still walk away with the knowledge that no matter what you do, I will still kick your ass at archery."
"And any poetry competition in the next 3 months." One of the masculine spectators called out. The twenty-year-old archer rolled his eyes, before leaning down to kiss Emery on the lips. She kissed him back willingly.
Emery's sword kept a lot of potential spar partners at bay, the 2-foot-long curved obsidian blade was terrifying when pressed again anyone's neck. It was given to her when she turned seven by Ares and the skills she'd acquired over the years it was in her possession were just as deadly as the sword looked.
In the crowd watching was Leah Hunt, daughter of Nereus, the old man of the sea. Being the child of a minor god the seventeen-year-old was often overlooked for quests, but she was also considered one of the most talented demi-gods of the recent generation of heroes, having inherited her father's shape-shifting abilities. This was the reason that Enyo had chosen her as a member of Central.
Wyn Everest attacked a dummy with his mace, before glancing at the sparring couple. The spikes on his mace were made out of sharp icicles that never melted or broke: a must-have for a son of the snow goddess. Bored out of his mind, he used his powers to freeze an ant on the ground, and then applied enough pressure to the dummy with ice that it blew up.
Leah snuck a glance at Wyn when she thought he wasn't watching. She liked watching him blow stuff up with ice. It was way more intriguing than watching two people spar.
She slipped out of the crowd and hid behind a boulder. It was hard for her five foot seven body to condense enough to be completely hidden, but by then she had done this enough that she had gotten used to it.
This time, however, Wyn caught her.
Who's there." Wyn called, his English accent clear and crisp. He had only seen a flash of light golden brown hair before the person had crouched down.
His heart beat loud in his chest when the person stood up and he saw those distinguishable sea green eyes. They'd both been in Central for three years, but had never talked.
"What's your name?" Wyn asked her, even though he already knew.
"Leah Hunt. I'm seventeen. I was born in Miami, Florida."
"Wyn Everest. I'm also seventeen. Born in Bristol. What were you doing back there, Leah?"
"Uh… um… Honing my sleuthing skills." Well, it was half-true.
"'And you chose me as your unwitting target."
"It works out nicely. You never noticed until today."
Wyn blushed. How long had Leah been coming to spy on him? He hoped he didn't make a fool of himself in front of her.
A rumble shook the whole area. Wyn almost fell over. Leah instinctively grabbed Wyn's arm to keep him steady.
"Thank you." He mumbled, the red on his cheeks darkening.
"Yeah, no problem." She whispered, something she only did when she was nervous.
"Well, we both know what that noise meant." Wyn said. "We should prepare for an assembly."
Leah nodded. She did know. A god had arrived.
By the way, I really don't want this to end up as a Percy Jackson rip-off so if it gets too close to that storyline, let me know and maybe give me some ideas or something to make it more different. Constructive criticism would be nice.